BCoC Banners 2020 PourOverVSDrip

Pour Over Vs Drip Coffee: What’s the Difference?

Coffee is one of the most popular drinks in the world and there are many different ways to make it.

Pour over and drip coffee are two of the most common methods. Both methods have their own benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to know the difference before choosing which one to use.

Let’s get started!

What is Pour Over Coffee?

Pour Over coffee is a manual brewing method that delivers a clean, flavorful cup of coffee. The Pour Over method is somewhat complex, as you need to pay attention to the details. You will need:

  • a dripper,
  • ground coffee,
  • near-boiling water,
  • a timer,
  • and a scale.

The key to a great Pour Over is in the pour. A slow, steady pour will ensure that all the coffee grounds are evenly saturated and that the water has time to extract all the flavor from the coffee.

What is Drip Coffee?

Drip coffee is a type of coffee that is made by pouring hot water over coffee grounds that are in a filter. The hot water drips through the coffee grounds and into a pot or carafe below.

Drip coffee is one of the most popular ways to make coffee in the United States. If you were to ask most American households about the appliances they use to make coffee, you’d get one answer: the drip coffee maker.

It’s a convenient alternative to percolators and it grew progressively more popular throughout the 20th century due to its efficiency in the American 9 to 5 lifestyle.

Is There Any Difference Between Pour Over vs Drip Coffee?

To help you choose which brewing method can help you make better-tasting coffee, we’ve broke down then features into simpler chunks of information.

Quality of Grounds

Good quality pour-over coffee is achievable when you use a medium ground coffee. This brewing method uses the infusion method, where coffee and water have a very short term contact. This prevents over-extracting your coffee beans.

If you want to start your day with a drip coffee, the ideal ground depends on the type of filter you use in your drip machine. Most drip machines work best with medium-ground coffee. This is because the contact time for coffee beans and the water is short. This prevents under or over-extraction.

Which Coffees to Use?

Pour-over coffee tastes best when you use light roast coffee beans. They provide a genuine coffee flavor and aroma. The coffee is bright and acidic with the right caffeine kick. If you need an extra boost for the day,  pour-over coffee is the best beverage to drink in the morning.

Though drip coffee maker enables you to brew coffee the easy way. The downside of the machine is that you don’t have the full control when you brew the coffee beans. You can’t control the temperature of the water that passes through and over the coffee beans.

The water temperature is essential as it affects the quality of the coffee. So if you’ll be brewing coffee beans using this method, choose medium roast. It won’t lose much flavor nor will it be too strong.

Types of Coffee Grounds

Spectrum of Coffee Grind to use for a pour over, drip, or any coffee.
Coffee Grind Spectrum

Pour-over coffee is best made with medium grind size. Yet, it requires tweaking to achieve the coffee quality that you prefer. Keep in mind that pour-over is an infusion method where the coffee and water contact has limits. If the coffee becomes watery and sour, you should try a finer grind and if the coffee is bitter or lacks tasting notes, try a coarser grind.

Consistency in grind size matters in drip coffee. Brewing coffee beans with uneven size greatly affects the taste of the coffee. So, if you’re grinding the coffee beans for your drip coffeemaker, use a burr-style grinder. This grinder guarantees a uniform coffee grind that resembles sea salt.

Check out our in-depth Review of Grinders for more information.

Taste Differences

There’s a big difference between pour-over coffee and drip coffee and it is most noticeable with taste. Pour-over coffee is more flavorful than drip coffee.

The contact time of the water and the coffee grounds in pour-over is longer than in drip coffee. With a pour-over method, you have full control over the contact of water and the grounds. Ultimately, this gives water enough time to extract all the desirable flavors and oils from the beans.

When you use the drip method, the coffee appears simple and well-bodied but it’s not as vivid as with pour-over coffee.


The cleanliness of the coffee is not always about the stains it creates on your teeth. Rather, it’s more about the stains it leaves on your device after the brewing process.

Pour-over tools are most likely made of glass, ceramic, or stainless steel. To avoid stain and residue build-up, they need regular cleaning. Usually, the tools are a combination of any two materials, making it easy to clean. But the case isn’t the same with a drip coffee maker.

Drip coffee machines can be a challenge to maintain and clean. If you read the process of how drip coffee makers brew coffee from above. It goes through the different parts of the machine before the finished product lands in your cup. That’s why it’s impossible to keep the machine spotless – unless you disassemble it.

Drying the parts of the drip coffee maker is difficult as you use the machine regularly. And if you’re not paying attention with it, constant moisture can result in yeast or mold build up. In a 2011 NSF study, 50% of the water reservoirs of coffee machines they tested became yeast or mold hot spots.

Brewing Time: Pour Over vs Drip

Every barista knows that a great tasting coffee is the product of a careful brewing process. It’s not made instant. It’s worth the wait. It’s what real coffee tastes like.

When you brew coffee using the pour-over method, it takes a lot of preparation and attention. From measuring the ratio between the coffee beans and water to how long the extraction should be. In contrast, drip method coffee makers can be programmed and scheduled to brew before you get up. If convenience is important, drip coffee is the clear winner.


If you want a lasting coffee maker, the pour-over is a sure deal. The materials used to make the pour-over tools are glass, stainless steel, and ceramic. Regular cleaning can help the tools be stain-free. Best of all, it is easy to clean, especially since most of them are dishwasher safe.

Though some drip coffee makers come with removable parts, most of these parts are plastic. There isn’t any guarantee that your coffee maker will last longer. The parts may not last and electrical malfunction can be problematic.


If you want full control in brewing coffee, the ideal method is Pour-over. This method allows you to adjust the grounds, the water flow, and the length of time of the brewing process. To achieve a tasty coffee with pour-over, it’s best to follow a controlled recipe/process. Full attention prevents over-extraction or under extraction of coffee beans. You wouldn’t want a bad tasting coffee, right?

Quality of Coffee

The quality of coffee is subjective. Yet, people can describe it through their preferences. For instance, you love your morning cuppa dark and robust. Some people drink coffee medium roast for flavor and a little bit of caffeine kick. 

Others prefer a vibrant cup of light roast to keep them going all day. Yet, these methods need skills and attention to brew a delicious coffee. Improper use of tools or lack of understanding can result in a coffee disaster or just bad tasting coffee at best.

When you choose between pour-over and drip, it’s best to know your brewing priorities first. If you want to take a coffee brewing journey to better understand what goes in your cup go ahead and explore the brewing methods.


When it comes to cost, pour-over tools are cheaper than drip coffee machines. Most tools used for pour-over can go between $20 to $30. If you want to buy a drip coffee maker for a quick caffeine fix, you can find electric coffee makers ranging between $25 and $1000. Some include insulated carafes, grinders, the ability to brew espresso, etc.


Pour over and drip coffee method both offer a simple way to make coffee. The real differences come down to a level of skill, devices, time and preference.

To choose the best method for you, consider your brewing priorities. Once this is established you can easily find a coffee maker that works for you and your budget. Experimenting is a fun way to try new coffees and perhaps develop a coffee obsession of your own.

Have you tried any of these two simple brewing methods? Which do you prefer? What advantages and disadvantages did you encounter using these methods? Please share with us your brewing method ideas in the comments below

Similar Posts